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DIY Bug Repellent Candles

Let’s face it: mosquitoes are a major buzz kill.

But walking around a party like a stinky chemical factory, or guests choking on clouds of pesticide-laden insect repellent isn’t a whole lot more desirable.

Ditch the toxins and declare your gathering a bug-free zone with these natural repellent candles. They do take a little bit of effort but they look beautiful (especially at dusk) and if you put them in pretty jars they make excellent gifts, too.

Note:  You don’t have to stop at jars – once you get confident making these you can put the candle mixture in anything from clean tin cans to little ceramic flower pots or small colourful metal buckets.  Check out the local $2 shop or Vinnies, and use your creative flair!

Bosisto's Bug Repellent Candles

You’ll need:
Wax flakes (they come in different colours, at hobby or craft stores)
Mason jars (or any wide necked glass jars)
Candle wick
Clean pencils or chopsticks
Citronella oil (try Woolworths’ pest control aisle or online)
Bosisto’s Eucalyptus Oil

Glass measuring jug
Medium sized saucepan
Oven mitt

Tie the top end of the candle wick to the middle of a chopstick or pencil (see picture) – any long object will do, a ruler etc – as long as it can lie across the mouth of the jar, allowing the wick to dangle in, standing straight.  Make sure the metal bottom of the wick, if it has one, sits flat against the bottom of your chosen jar (don’t worry about the top length, it gets trimmed later). 

Pour your wax flakes into your glass measuring jug (depending on which brand you buy the quantity per jar, time and heat will vary, so read the packet for instructions.).  Create a double boiler by carefully placing the glass jug of wax flakes into a saucepan of boiling water, ensuring the water simmers around, but not near the top of the jug (you don’t want water getting in).  Reduce the pot to a low heat and wait until flakes are melted.

Add citronella and Bosisto’s Eucalyptus Oil to the melted wax.  For small-medium sized jars, add approximately 10 drops of citronella and 8 drops of eucalyptus oil.  Increase quantity for large jars.  Turn off the stove and, using an oven mitt carefully  remove the measuring cup of hot wax from the stove.  Slowly pour the wax into the mason jar, around the wick, stopping just below the lip.   Leave to cool or place candle in the fridge or freezer – the wax will harden in a few hours, allowing you to remove the pencil or chopsticks.  Trim the wick, no taller than a couple of cm above the wax.  And, you’re done!

Quick tip

Different colours and sizes of jars grouped together make a pretty outdoor table centrepiece.